KILLINGWORTH, Conn, (WTNH) – The Boy Scout camp on Killingworth’s Deer Lake is now in the hands of a local group, Pathfinders Inc., after it beat out a developer’s bid for the land Friday morning.

It took months of negotiations and fundraising to beat out the bid of a developer, but the people at Pathfinders who spent the past nine months trying to save Deer Lake can celebrate.

It will officially remain open space.

“We have the last green valley that you see where we have no development,” said State Rep. Christine Goupil (D-Killingworth) Friday at a lakeside press conference.

Goupil’s son is one of the thousands of kids who attended the co-ed summer camp at Deer Lake over the past decades. However, it was the Boy Scouts of America that actually owned the 255-acre property.

This year, the Boy Scouts started selling off properties like Deer Lake to pay for a $2 billion sex abuse settlement. A developer offered the scouts close to $5 million for the land. So, Pathfinders started fundraising to beat that.

Meanwhile, local officials urged the state to step in and help.

“All encouraged our office to take a hard look at what was happening and the process by which it was being marketed and sold,” Connecticut Attorney General William Tong said.

Tong’s staff stepped in and helped bring the two sides together, but Pathfinders specifically helped by raising several million dollars and then borrowing $1.8 million. That borrowed money has to be paid back, so fundraising efforts are continuing.

“When the loans get paid off, we’ll be able to put a permanent conservation easement on the property, which is what we intend to do,” said Ted Langevin, the president of Pathfinders.

A conservation easement will preserve the lake as an open space. U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said federal money may be able to help pay off some of the loans.